- Stay calm. By acting quickly and calmly your chances of being reunited with you pet will improve.
- Search your house thoroughly. Something may have spooked your pet causing him to hide somewhere.
- In a calm voice, call for your pet inside and outside. Give your pet time to answer or come find you.
- Call your local animal shelter and animal control (see below for contact information) to see if anyone has brought in a pet matching your pet's description. Provide your address or a location where your pet was last seen. Leave contact information in case he/she turns up at their facility. Whether the facility has a pet matching your pet’s description or not, visit the shelter as soon as possible to see if your pet has been brought in. Ask the shelter if they work with an emergency veterinary clinics as injured or ill animals may be taken there first before being moved to the shelter.
- Create a flier to post in your neighborhood and distribute at local veterinary offices. Include a photo of your pet, your pet's name, a description with any unique characteristics, the location your pet was last seen, your name and your contact information.
- Put an ad in the local papers with the same information as on your flier. Check the ads frequently for descriptions that match your pet’s.
- Visit online sites, such as petfinder.org to look for photos of your pet that may appear at shelters or rescue organizations.
- Go back and visit the shelters frequently.
- Continue to check with your neighbors to see if they have spotted your pet. Provide your neighbors with copies of the flier.
- Be proactive and continue to follow up.
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- Before approaching a strange animal, evaluate the situation to see if it is safe to approach.
- Do not approach a sick or injured animal. Call animal control immediately.
- If the situation is safe, provide the animal with a little food to entice it to come to you. Tuna works well for cats. Peanut butter works well for dogs.
- Be calm and do not make any sudden movements. The pet may be frightened and any movement that scares the animal could put you in harm's way.
- Check the pet's collar for a name, contact information or tag number. Call the owner right away if the pet has an identification tag.
- If the found pet does not have an ID tag, but does have a rabies or license tag, call the issuing facility and ask them to try to trace the owner based on the tag number.
- Take the pet to a veterinarian, animal control or humane society to have it scanned for a microchip.
- Check the lost and found boards at local veteriny clinics, animal shelters and pet stores.
- Always take the pet to the shelter closest to where you found the pet. The pet will have a much better chance being reunited with its owner if it's a shelter than if you keep the pet at your home.
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Foothills Animal Shelter
Denver Dumb Friends League
303-271-5071, after hours: 303-277-0211
303-658-2400 ext. 4328
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